Best travel books chosen by critics

We list the best travel books recommended by critics from Washington Post, NPR, New York Times and many more. All critics' recommendations are referenced with customer reviews. The rating you see is an aggregate from several platforms and is always higher than 4 out of 5 stars.

4.8 From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death


“Illustrated by comic artist Landis Blair, the macabre travelogue is a thoughtful reflection and a smart critique of the American funeral industry, with plenty of gallows humor thrown in.”

Featured in Smithsonian’s Best Travel Books of 2017.

4.0 Less Andrew Greer

Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer

Washington Post

“Too often, our standards of literary greatness exclude comic novels — which is usually fine because there are so few great comic novels. But you should make more room for ‘Less.'”

Featured in Washington Post’s Best 10 Books of 2017.

4.4 Not-Quite States of America

The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA


“Admitting his own ignorance about the U.S. territories, travel writer Doug Mack set out to learn about them, and his book is a collection of dispatches from American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Featured in Smithsonian’s Best Travel Books of 2017.

4.6 The New Paris

The New Paris by Lindsey Tramuta


“Through its colorful photography and intimate tone, Tramuta’s book invites readers to rethink what they know about the romantic, often-stereotyped city.”

Featured in Smithsonian’s Best Travel Books of 2017.

4.4 Aerial Geology

Aerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks


“Offering a bird’s eye view that makes geology come alive, science and travel writer Mary Caperton Morton’s book feels like a personal helicopter ride across North America.”

Featured in Smithsonian’s Best Travel Books of 2017.

4.4 Lost City of the Monkey God

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story

New York Times

“The novelist Doug Preston joins a rugged expedition in search of pre-Columbian ruins in the Honduran rain forest.”

Featured in New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2017.